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Tokyo bans forced hair-dyeing at metropolitan junior, senior high schools

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is seen in this file photo taken in May 2019. (Mainichi/Masaaki Shimano)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education has issued a notice to all metropolitan junior and senior high schools that forbids them from instructing students to dye their hair black when it is naturally another color.

Until now, the board of education had verbally asked schools to stop instructing black hair dyeing. But after hearing calls that inappropriate guidance remains a deep-rooted issue, it decided to indicate clearly in writing its motion to ban the practice.

The notice, dated Sept. 4, demands that schools respect students' human rights when providing instructions on hair colors and dealing with problematic behavior. Moreover, it specifies that schools are "not to instruct students to dye their natural hair color black without any exceptions."

At a Sept. 5 gathering of principals from approximately 190 metropolitan schools, the education board explained the general content of the notice and demanded they adhere to it when providing guidance to students.

Concerning the issue of forced dyeing in metropolitan schools, a group including the head of a nonprofit organization submitted approximately 19,000 signatures to the board of education in July backing a request for thorough measures to end the practice.

(Japanese original by Akira Okubo, City News Department)

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